Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Jun 11, 2014 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: reply to my query

1st off I apoligise for that triple post. When entering it went blank and did nothing and I guess they all registered. Now for some reason I can't directly reply to your answers. What I don't get from some of you is the slack you cut these guys. Are you the same people who claim the Dead never had a bad show? Or even better calling the most slow drawn out nighmare of a show one of those tastey ones or because the scene was great.I go to shows to be entertained not bored stiff or hear unwanted, uncontroled feedback, insesant tuning or what ever else is wrong. A free gig in the park ok, anything goes but guys this is a professional touring band that has played to millions and even by Phil's account"we always seem to blow the big ones".Look I like them or else I never would have seen them 28 times and holding but you liked those breaks because you needed some space give me a break. That's a lame excuse to cover for either a poor performance or just the wacky way they did things. About Jerry bending strings what lead guitarist dosen't bend strings especialy the great blues dudes like SRV,Clapton, Alvin Lee, Townsend. As for having multiple guitars, song keys change,or if it sounded better on a Strat than an Les Paul then that's why they use different guitars no matter how many effects they have.I saw The Who when the Dead opened for them in Oakland and yes Pete had a rack of about 10 Les Pauls. He didn't even use 3 of them.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: c-freedom Date: Jun 11, 2014 6:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: It's one in ten thousand just come for the show

I would say that my emersion into the land of the Grateful Dead was a key turning point in my life in that I really felt that it was the road less traveled.
I saw my college friends so wrapped up in their goals and truthfully I just didn't have one single goal at that point. So when I came across the whole Dead scene I was hooked. Go from this city to the next following a rock and roll band with a bunch of other so inclined folks. I feel music with all my being and when the Dead played especially Garcia- I just connected with it. So everything else in the world became "Your typical city involved in a typical daydream" but I was touring with the Dead! There was nothing else like that during the 80's. Was it all smiles and rainbows. No. There were times when I missed home. I got a call when I was in Frisco that my Grandma was on her deathbed and I did a you-drive it from S.F. to the East Coast in 3/4days sleeping in the back of a pick-up with only one bag of groceries that I purchased at Whole Foods for the whole trip. For Europe 90 a girl left me for her tour friends and I did the whole tour on my own including falling 6 feet straight down off the back row of the Zenith in Paris. But I did meet a sister from Australia although she was afraid of crowds which is part of why I was in the last row at the Zenith with her.
Anyway my whole life changed for better or worse when I got turned on to the Dead and the times when they were actually playing live in the middle of the craziness that was my life at the time. So yes some nights were one problem or another but I wouldn't trade those times for anything.
I would go so far as to say that the Grateful Dead should have been the first American Rock Band inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame because they were the youth of America's house band for many generations.
My 14 year old was like "hey play Shakedown Street" today. And for the first time he was singing along.
I always felt that in the times I saw the dead they were committed to making the best music they could make on any given night and really that is all you can ask of a band. Just put your heart into it and let's see where we go. It was really a collective experience as well because stuff like violence or hate or fear could turn a show sour.
(That is why hard core gate crashing sucked so badly)
The words from Wavy Gravy on the Woodstock tape "Remember the man next to you is your brother".
Jerry gave it his all. He is one of my heroes. When he died the world got that much colder and meaner.
"Listen to the music play"

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: high flow Date: Jun 11, 2014 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

Bad shows, I saw a few and I saw a few good ones too. Most were somewhere in the middle.

In regards to tuning and long breaks between sets or songs...it is what it is(was what it was) and people made of it what they could. Near the end of the band's run (93-on) I always felt like it was all a BIG WAIT. Wait for tickets, wait in line, wait for the show, wait for the set-break to end, wait for post-drums/space, wait for the predictable encore....and it bummed me out. So, I stopped doing it. I started looking for more spontaneous musical entertainment and I discovered that I almost always prefer to enjoy music in a smaller, more intimate venue like a bar or small theater. My JGB experiences pushed me in that direction and once I discovered all the great blues, country, bluegrass, funk and metal being played in venues all around the Bay Area by highly talented but less famous artists, I did not need to seek out grand productions any longer.

I go to Los Lobos at the Fillmore annually. That is about the closest I get to a big concert these days, but the acts I've seen since swearing-off arena concerts and festivals are amazing and I never leave thinking I have missed anything.

The entire GD experience was different from other concerts, that included, but not limited to, longer tuning and set-breaks. I can't explain why, but I always assumed people dealt with it because when it worked, IT REALLY F*CKIN WORKED.

Would you prefer song set-ups like:

Jerry: This next tune is called Sugar Magnolia and it always reminds me of a time me and this girl who lived down the street snuck out at night and......

Nope I'd prefer Yellow Dog, Move-O Back-O and Don't Hang from the Balcony Idiot.

It's just another quirk that made this band unique.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 11, 2014 5:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

You make great points. My frustration started to boil when I realized Id drive through the desert, go in early to get a good seat, watch the opening act , then sit through the equipment change. The dead finally hit the stage and they whip out a 6 song stinker. To add insult to injury, the set break turns out to be significantly longer than the 45 mins they just played. Then comes wave to the wind, teleprompters that don't help Jerry, samba and 40 mins of drums and space.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: high flow Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

Uh, yep.

Then you'd see JGB(or Garcia/Grisman) and get 2.5 Hours of great tunes and zero stinkers.

Did JGB play any stinkers??

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 12, 2014 12:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

The trade off, however, was that with JGB the setlist would repeat after 2 gigs. Would have been nice to see more songs in the constant rotation. I think if you exclude the few in 1995 and a good chunk in 1984 where he was giving out after 7 songs the JGB shows were always solid

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 11, 2014 7:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

Hmmm. Speaking as a not-many-shows-in-the-90s person, it seems like it may have evolved from "lots of noodling during tuning" to "short first set > long long set break." Which is two different things and I think would effect the audience differently.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 12, 2014 7:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

As it became more common to have a bank of already tuned guitars ready to switch out, I wonder why our axemen didn't avail themselves of this ? I never heard it brought up . Maybe it was the comfort factor , liking a certain instrument etc.
I,m sure someone might have said to "fix" the bands problems would possibly "break" what was special about them . As Mike Love famously said to Brain Wilson , "DON'T FUCK WITH THE FORMULA !". I,m sorta in the middle on this I saw plenty of the big acts (Rolling Stones, Who etc.) and while I was impressed, had fun, 't just never felt as good as the mangey Grateful Dead, warts and all .
BUT, there were plenty of things they could have fixed that they didn't , some from inability, some from the fact that they could get away with it .The tuning breaks were not the worst aspects of unprofessionalism . I think the sloppy, crude rhythmic presentation of many songs (no boss, not enough rehearsals) was a real problem . Because I love what was good, and unique, about the band, their less than competent moments , I either shrug my shoulders, or laugh it off as "endearing". I don't turn my brain off , but I try to enjoy the music despite the flaws , because what they did do well was so wonderful .

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: stratocaster Date: Jun 12, 2014 4:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

It's everything mentioned, the breaks were to tune, tease the next song, take a drag,etc. the dead also played with a lot of grease and some songs required different settings, this isn't Clapton or Santana who keep with basically the same tone and pedals for every song.... I found it entertaining and infinitely better than watching blowhard Bruce Sprinsteen stop after songs to drone on about the Vietnam war or some other political bulkshit

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 12, 2014 9:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who needs visuals?

I am with Rose; while going to shows, 74-82, it WAS a point of pride that our boys/gal didn't do anything silly on stage.

Watching the Woodstock film or Mont Pop Fest, other than Jimi and the Who, NO one of real accomplishment did much of anything on stage...but play and sing.

Nonetheless, I came to think of it as a bit TOO sedate over the yrs, and when looking back, I see that during Feedback, the boys could end up being quite energetic as they position themselves near speakers/amps, and that's something I'd have wanted to see...

Plus, if we look to the pinnacle of banter, 71, such as the famed Harding Theatre, they were esp "active" during the breaks, telling jokes, interacting w the audience, etc., etc.

That's what I missed; I think that by the late 70s, it was drugs and smokes and beer that accounts for the lack of energy except while playing...it also seems sad, because they don't seem to enjoy it as much.

So, I would've been fine w very little "activity" as long as they was just enough to convince me they 1) were having a good time; 2) were glad we were there; and 3)played reasonably well.

I am one of those that finds little difference between the supposed "all time best show" and the "all time worst"...they played far too much to literally be HORRIBLE, and the fact is, listening to a six month stretch, like Jan to Jul, 69, they are amazingly CONSISTENT, night in and night out, as to be expected w such consistent set lists, etc., etc., etc.

Later, I am sure w Jerry, it became an issue; but, so to, I cannot actually FIND a show from the 90s in which I say "all time great" as the voices are shot, etc., etc.

Bottom line: they were really a relatively consistent band, w a slow, steady decline that was unavoidable. This also conincided w less and less "joy from the stage" and it was that which mattered, more than "amount of jumping around" (who needs that stuff? absolutely NOTHING to do w what I am there for...music, and music alone. No lights, no running around or whatever...but at least look alive).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who needs visuals?

> because they don't seem to enjoy it as much.

Even though there was a sense of working man's GD by '70 that was still when they were at the beginning of their careers. I can't help but think, if you look at the full arc of anyone's career, that by ones forties is anything consistently as bright or intense? You have bad days when nothing seems to turn out right, boredom, "coffee" breaks, the same petty paces- but also days when the juice is flowing again and is time to tell Momma to throw a leg over cause it's good now, but it 'aint going to last and who knows when it will be back. Your bottom line was the fate of the band, as it is of us all.

(Also, what an odd op.)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who needs visuals?

Yeah, true...but ya know, when I see an old Jorma K, or Leo K, or St Winwood/EricC, and even decrepit GBaker barely able to get on the drum kit, I still see a sense of real joy in being there (PHil these days too, right? Folks say that...).

At times that was hard to "see" w Jerry (by 82 he could seem really zonked on stage), and that was more imprt (to me) than "hey, why doesn't he jump like Sting or Pete T or whoever"...and yea, I never thought--at the time--that the breaks were esp long. Back then, again, prior to 82, it was only a bit more than any other band we saw.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 11, 2014 7:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

On the accidental triples, click "edit" and then "delete this post." I don't think you can do that after someone replies, so only on the no-reply ones.

Re not being able to reply yourself to someone's post: Sometimes it happens, I have no idea why!

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2014-06-12 02:08:32

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Sansloy Date: Jun 12, 2014 4:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

I've also learned that if you think it didn't post, wait two minutes and come back - it probably did.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ducats Date: Jun 11, 2014 3:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

u either got it or u didn't warts and all slack had nothing to do with it

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

re: "cutting slack"... "I go to shows to be entertained not bored stiff"...

First off, let's remember the taping issue: sure, they were wishy-washy about allowing audience taping early on - but, "they did" let us tape them, by and large. And when they did clamp down on us early on for taping them, what happened, typically? They took Gerry's tape deck from him at the door (~ 1971) and they "checked it into the tape deck room" for him - just like it was a "coat check". He was allowed in for the show! They sent a Hell's Angels security dude from backstage into the Roosevelt Stadium audience, and he confiscated my tape in the summer of 1973 while I was recording them. GD gave my tape back to us after Jimmy Watson asked them to give it back! I always square this shit up with cutting the band some slack.

Bored stiff: without GD's legendary unpredictability, creativity, and spontaneity, you'd be bored stiff, wouldn't you? It was fun and entertaining watching them on stage. You'd never go two or more nights in a row to see the same thing, would you? And, if you didn't have all the scene-shit to go with it - before, during, and after a GD-run in your area - what the fuck else would you be doing otherwise (and wasting your time on)? In fact, GD were doing "public service work" for us in my era - "my era" being '72 and '73, when I was hanging out with Deadheads.

The question is: once you've heard GD's amazing music played well, "outdoors and up close" (from about 30 or 40 feet away, f.o.b.), and it's played through Alembic's and GD's wall of sound system (or its prototype) and the gear is perfectly setup and adjusted, how do you explain to people how fucking incredible that is? What's boring as hell to me is that too many people still don't seem to get it, even when we have so many photos and videos coming into circulation. These were mind-altering experiences. Duh, there was NOTHING like it before this! Psychedelics definitely made the GD experience way better. If you weren't there, and if you haven't listened to the tapes from the early era, how would you know how to contextualize this shit? What other contextualization is there? If you missed it, why knock it? If you're bitching and knocking "something else" (later era?) maybe I should cut you some slack, and not be bored stiff when I keep hearing people knock my favorite band? Everything ebbs and flows, including the Grateful Dead.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: GerryO Date: Jun 12, 2014 6:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

Hi Monte,

My deck's Jul-1970 evening in the "coat check" room started at the Fillmore West at top of the stairs, as we were entering to see QMS. Times were changing and Bill Graham's staff may have been enforcing varying band policies, or we may have been just very lucky a month earlier. I'd also walked right carrying a tape deck at 1969 San Jose Fairgrounds Pavilion CCR and Winterland LZ shows, and a few weeks later we snuck it in to tape a Steve Miller Band/Bo Diddley show, but it felt like being busted for sneaking it in would have been worse than having it confiscated at the door for the night.

Performance wise it was impressive how CCR could duplicate things note for note in concert, and LZ was English, showy and loud, but the GD just felt so right and there was always the light show if you needed more visuals. The crowd was there to HEAR and appreciate the GD, and move to the music, not to see how much noise they could make during the performance. And check out the "A Night at the Family Dog" video for a look at just how uncomfortable the GD were in front of the camera, compared to the JA.

The total live concert experience was one thing, but it is also amazing to have so many shows on tape, where we can now repeatedly selectively listen to each band member's and the crowd's contribution collectively and individually. Their music holds up so well. Setlist wise I still cringe at those of many bands who played exactly the same setlist on an entire tour, hoping to get the name of the city correct when attempting to personalize a "hey blank-blank how are you all doing out there/are you having a good time?" greeting. And how many bands would play sets consisting mainly of songs not available on their records?

I'd really like to hear from those up front who locked eyes with JG during a song or solo, but the women that did probably never have frequented this or any similar place.

It's also a shame that so much energy and effort continues to be put into NOT preserving history, though it is tough enough already to move on, which isn't always forward.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jun 13, 2014 9:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

We share the same sentiments... precisely! It's no surprise to me when I hear you say this stuff. Too bad there's just the two of us discussing this. Aside from Bear and Jerry Moore, most older tapers are still around. It's fairly easy to track down most of them. For now, if you want to see this history preserved, you have to do it yourself. I don't have the resources to do this, other than my human body.
- my taper resume
- my lengthy taping story